Seems like he was always asleep, until Odin created the world out of his body.

He drank the milk of the cow Auðumbla, and he is illustrated to be conscious while doing so, but that need not be. Jotun are spontaneously created from his armpits, it is not clear he created them. And though he is shown as awake when he was killed by some illustrations, I did not find language anywhere that says he was awake and he fought back.

My research is limited to wikipedia and online sources, hoping for some input from experts.

  • 3
    Great question; had never before thought about that in this way.
    – Adinkra
    Jul 17, 2017 at 2:28

1 Answer 1


It is true that he created other giants spontaneously, from the sweat of his armpit, and from between his feet (same idea). However, the Prose Edda (ch. 8) tells us that the cow Audhumla fed him with her milk, and while he could have been passively fed like a patient on a drip, it seems unlikely. So presumably he was awake at least some of the time.

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